What Is Considered Stalking In New York?

by ECL Writer
Stalking In The Third Degree

Stalking is a serious crime in New York that involves repeatedly following, harassing, and threatening someone, which causes them to fear for their safety or the safety of their loved ones. Stalking can take various forms, including physical stalking, cyberstalking, and phone stalking. In New York, the crime of stalking is defined in Section 120.50 of the New York Penal Law.

Under New York law, stalking occurs when a person intentionally and repeatedly engages in a course of conduct that causes reasonable fear to the victim. The term “course of conduct” means a pattern of behavior that includes two or more acts that are committed over time, including acts that occur through the use of electronic communication.

The acts that constitute stalking in New York include following, monitoring, surveilling, or threatening the victim, engaging in conduct that places the victim in fear of physical injury or death, and contacting the victim repeatedly, either directly or through a third party. Additionally, the use of technology to stalk someone, such as through the use of social media, email, text messages, or GPS tracking devices, is also considered a form of stalking in New York.

In order to prove that someone is guilty of stalking in New York, the prosecution must establish several elements beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements include that the defendant intentionally and repeatedly engaged in a course of conduct that caused the victim to fear for their safety, that the defendant knew or should have known that their conduct would cause the victim to fear for their safety and that the victim did, in fact, fear for their safety as a result of the defendant’s conduct.

The penalties for stalking in New York vary depending on the severity of the offense and the number of prior stalking convictions that the defendant has. Stalking can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, and the maximum penalties for stalking in New York can include imprisonment, fines, and probation.

In addition to the criminal penalties, victims of stalking in New York may also be eligible for a protective order, which is a court order that prohibits the defendant from contacting the victim or coming near them. Violating a protective order can result in additional criminal charges and penalties.

Is Stalking A Crime In New York

Yes, stalking is a crime in New York. Under the New York Penal Law, stalking is defined as intentionally and repeatedly engaging in a course of conduct that causes a person to fear for their safety or the safety of their loved ones. Stalking can take various forms, including physical stalking, cyberstalking, and phone stalking.

The New York Penal Law specifically prohibits stalking in Section 120.50 and outlines the elements that must be present in order to prove that someone is guilty of stalking. These elements include that the defendant intentionally and repeatedly engaged in a course of conduct that caused the victim to fear for their safety, that the defendant knew or should have known that their conduct would cause the victim to fear for their safety and that the victim did, in fact, fear for their safety as a result of the defendant’s conduct.

Statute Of Limitation For Stalking In New York

In New York, the statute of limitations for stalking varies depending on the severity of the offense. The statute of limitations is the time period within which criminal charges must be filed in court, and if the charges are not filed within this time frame, the defendant cannot be prosecuted.

For misdemeanor stalking, which is the less severe form of stalking, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the last act of stalking. This means that if the victim was stalked in January 2020 and the last act of stalking occurred in March 2020, the prosecution has until March 2022 to file charges against the defendant.

For felony stalking, which is the more severe form of stalking, the statute of limitations is five years from the date of the last act of stalking. This means that if the victim was stalked in January 2020 and the last act of stalking occurred in March 2020, the prosecution has until March 2025 to file charges against the defendant.

It is important to note that in some cases, the statute of limitations may be tolled or extended, meaning that the clock stops or the time period is extended for certain reasons, such as if the defendant leaves the state or if the victim is a minor at the time of the stalking.

If you believe you are a victim of stalking or have been accused of stalking, it is important to seek legal advice from a qualified attorney who can advise you on the specific statute of limitations and other relevant laws and regulations in New York.

What is the most common type of stalking?

Stalking can take various forms, and there is no one most common type of stalking. Stalking can occur in person or online and may involve a range of behaviors that cause fear, distress, or harm to the victim. However, some forms of stalking are more prevalent than others.

One of the most common types of stalking is domestic or intimate partner stalking, which involves an individual repeatedly harassing, following, or threatening their current or former romantic partner. Domestic or intimate partner stalking can also include unwanted contact or attempts to control or manipulate the victim’s behavior, such as through the use of technology or social media.

Another common form of stalking is celebrity stalking, which involves an individual obsessively pursuing a famous person, either in-person or online. This type of stalking can be motivated by a desire for attention, a romantic or sexual attraction, or a delusional belief that the victim is in a relationship with the stalker.

Workplace stalking is another common form of stalking, which involves an individual repeatedly contacting or harassing a co-worker, supervisor, or employee. Workplace stalking can cause significant stress and disruption to the victim’s professional life and may involve physical or online harassment, as well as unwanted contact or attempts to control or manipulate the victim’s behavior.

It is important to note that stalking can occur in many other contexts as well, including in cases of cyberstalking, stranger stalking, and community stalking. Any form of stalking can be very serious and should be taken seriously, as it can cause significant harm to the victim’s mental and physical health, as well as their overall sense of safety and security. If you believe you are a victim of stalking or know someone who is being stalked, it is important to seek help and support from law enforcement and other resources.

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